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Offense forced to carry the load in Lewis' absence

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Offense forced to carry the load in Lewis' absence

Times really have changed for the Baltimore Ravens in an odd way during the career of Ray Lewis.
 
When Lewis came into the NFL as a first-round pick of the Ravens in 1996, offense was their strong point. They had no problem scoring points, ranking fourth in the AFC with 371 total points despite posting a 4-12 record in their opening season in Baltimore.
 
The defense, well, that was another story. Baltimore gave up 441 points in the 16 games, which ranked second-worst in the AFC and third-worst in the NFL. But things changed soon after that as the defense, led by Lewis, slowly grew into something tough.
 
That defense helped the Ravens slowly grow into a competitive team and was a big reason they made the playoffs just four years later and went on to win the Super Bowl. In that short period of time, that group grew into what many feel was the best defense in one season in NFL history. Teams couldn’t run or pass on the Ravens – they certainly couldn’t block them or match up versus Baltimore, who always had an edge with speed and power.
 
Lewis was a big part of that, and the Ravens then dominated teams for year with defensive play. The big problem for the Ravens is that they couldn’t do much on offense. Their offense often couldn’t score much and didn’t keep the defense off the field enough.
 
Finally, things began to change when Joe Flacco joined the team when John Harbaugh took over as coach in 2008. He gave the team its first solid, effective quarterback in a long time, and the offense began to do more while the defense still played well.
 
Everything changed for good this year, in an ironic twist, when Lewis suffered a season-ending injury that could have a big effect on his career. This year, again, it’s the offense that’s going to have to carry a big load while the defense struggles, much like his first year.
 
The question now is how much the defense can help with Lewis out. Only time will tell.  
 

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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